The stewards at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix found the Renault team guilty of breaking the sporting regulations and opted to ban the Anglo-French team from the forthcoming European Grand Prix in Valencia. The team has appealed the decision and the case will be heard by the International
Court of Appeal on Monday August 17th.
The incident in question of course was the botched first pitstop for Fernando Alonso
that saw him leave the pits without the front right wheel having being correctly fitted and subsequently led to his retirement from the race and the loss of a potentially strong race result.
The FIA announced on Sunday evening that having reviewed the available recordings and met with the team manager that the team “knowingly” released Alonso’s R29 from the pitlane “without one of the retaining devices for the wheel nits being securely in position, this being an indication that the wheel itself many not have been properly secured.”
The FIA stewards also claim that the team were aware that the wheel was incorrectly fitted and that the team did not take “any action to prevent the car from leaving the pit lane.”
Renault was found in breach of Article 23.
1i and 3.2 of the sporting regulations. 23.1i states: It is the responsibility of the competitor to release his car after a pit stop only when it is safe to do so. 3.2 states: Competitors must ensure that their cars comply with the conditions of eligibility and safety throughout practice and the race.
While it is clear that Renault did not attach the front right wheel as planned, it would be a strange decision from the team to “knowlingly” release Alonso back into the race with a loose front wheel...
Meanwhile Jaime Alguersuari, the 19-year-old Spaniard who made his Grand Prix debut for Toro Rosso in Hungary, told the El Pais newspaper of the decision: "It is stupid and unjust."